Showing posts with label nuclear arms. Show all posts
Showing posts with label nuclear arms. Show all posts

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Turning the ugly pages of French testing of nuclear weapons in the Pacific

The president François Hollande has just been on a trip to French Polynesia, where he thanked local people for tolerating 30 years of nuclear testing. He spoke frankly and solemnly, in particular, of the impact of these activities on the environment and public health.

Click here for an extract of the president's speech. "Without French Polynesia, France would have no nuclear arms." Over a period of 30 years, France carried out 193 nuclear tests on the atolls of Mururoa and Fangataufa. These tests have given rise to many cancers in the archipelago. Ever since the end of the testing in 1996, the  citizens of Polynesia have been asking constantly for indemnities, without success. The president hopes that this situation will now evolve positively.

Click here for an excellent in-depth explanation of the infamous Rainbow Warrior attack in 1985 (one-hour interview in French of Jean-Luc Kister).

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Hands up, or you'll die!

This news photo of a child being examined for radioactivity in the vicinity of Fukushima is poignant.

The child is too young to understand what it's all about, but the troubled expression on his face (his brow appears to be wrinkled) and the docility with which he is standing with his legs apart and holding his hands outstretched in the air indicate that he realizes that it's a no-joking situation. His big sister (?) in the background appears to be leaning forward as if to understand clearly what is being asked of her.

If all goes well, and these kids grow up to become normal young Japanese citizens—or, better still, future citizens of a new and more intelligent planet—their parents and teachers will tell them about 20th-century ancestors upon whom the night once descended.

And the adolescents will react: "Yes, we remember that terrible night… when we were kids."

Friday, August 6, 2010

The day mankind went mad

August 6, 1945. It wasn't, of course, the first day that Man had played at being the Devil. A firestorm had destroyed Dresden on February 13, 1945. And before then, the Nazi extermination camps had been functioning for several years as expertly-organized death factories. The difference, in the case of Hiroshima, is that the event was staged as a purely evil show. It was a demonstration aimed at proving to onlookers that a large-scale massacre could now be envisaged as a quite Ordinary Happening. Those who did the killing didn't even need to get their hands dirty. And every villain on the planet Earth could henceforth dream of wielding such an arm to eliminate human beings whom he had decided to hate. Will Man's nuclear madness get worse? I would imagine so. In that domain, for the moment, I see little hope…

Sunday, February 7, 2010

French war toys

A French fishing-trawler operator who snapped this early-morning trajectory on his mobile phone might have imagined that he had sighted a falling star.

But meteorites drop downwards, whereas this fellow was moving upwards. In fact, he had photographed a test of a French ICBM [intercontinental ballistic missile] launched from a nuclear submarine.

The submarine is Le Terrible. No need for translation.

I'm convinced that humanity is likely to succumb, one of these days, to some kind of a "nuclear contingency" (to use a nice expression that doesn't even smell too much like death). Between now and then, I'm not entirely unhappy to know that some of the nastiest toys happen to be held in the hands of the French Republic. As a prospective citizen of the world, I'm saddened by the fact that hordes of my fellow-citizens appear to be bloodthirsty mindless morons whose skulls are stuffed full of Islamic shit and hatred, while others persist in believing politely in a magic all-knowing "God" up in the skies. Maybe, one of these days, when they all find reason and come back down to earthly objectivity, France will be able to teach them how to launch fluffy Disney-like international ballistic snowballs. Meanwhile, I love to believe in happy-ending fairy stories...

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Pakistani test explosion

The test explosion seen in this video took place on 28 May 1998 in the hills of the Chagai district of the Pakistani province of Baluchistan:

The yield of Pakistan's first fission weapon was 9 to 12 kilotons of TNT (as compared to the 15 kilotons of the Hiroshima bomb).

Things could easily get out of hand in Pakistan in the aftermath of the assassination of Benazir Bhutto, in the sense that the nation could theoretically be taken over by radical Islamists. If there were any real chance of this happening, it's certain that military hawks throughout the world (maybe even in neighboring India) would be tempted to evoke the terrifying concept of preemptive strikes.